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Nespresso and Breville fuse capabilities to create the ultimate in-home barista

New Zealanders are quite the coffee connoisseurs and it’s a love that equates to $13.67 a week on average. And that’s spend in coffee shops alone. We are guilty of contributing to that average as we fulfil our flat white and cappuccino needs, but thinking it’s got to be easier than venturing out of the house every time, we borrowed the new Nespresso Creatista Plus and gave it a whirl. 

Do it yourself (or don’t)

The first coffee we made with the Creatista Plus was early in the morning, when the caffeine hit serves as a wake me up and a way of easing into the day. And ease it was with the Creatista Plus, because it did it all at the push of a button.

While the espresso function is the same as those in the full Nespresso machine range, the milk component is Breville’s creation and features a milk wand—we felt like we had a mini café in our kitchen.

And it’s no surprise as Nespresso’s New Zealand country manager, John Ciaglia, says it’s been designed to deliver to the taste of Kiwi coffee lovers who favour milk based coffee recipes and crave barista style quality coffee from the comfort of their own home.

“We were thrilled to work with Breville and the resulting innovative automatic steam wand technology delivers a consistent and outstanding milk based coffee experience, time after time,” he says.

Like many New Zealanders, we like a milky coffee, but getting the perfect flat white and cappuccino at home was an idea that until now was not worth considering and is probably why our local barista knows our regular.

But with the Creatista Plus, we had a full coffee menu to choose from including espresso, lungo, ristretto, flat white, latte, cappuccino, macchiato and of course the latte macchiato Nespresso has become known for.

A simple scroll through the intuitive TFT display screen allows for the desired beverage to be selected before tailoring the amount of coffee, milk temperature and the frothiness—yes, you can have your coffee just as you want it without having to face the rolling eyes of the less than impressed barista.

And there’s no catch to fussiness either. The only action required is the placement of a cup under the coffee outlet and jug of milk (filled to the marked line) under the wand. Then push the button and let the magic start.

There’s even a sneaky milk sensor that sits below the jug to make sure the desired temperature, and no more, is reached.

Breville’s Phil McKnight says Breville recognised the consumer’s need to adjust milk temperature, so this feature was a “must have” in the final product spec as well as adjustable texture levels from flat white to cappuccino.

One thing the machine doesn’t do, however, is pour the milk but this opens up the opportunity to work on some latte art. And if you don’t quite get the gist of it, we found some great demonstration videos on YouTube.

Tastes as good as it looks

McKnight says not only is latte art visually appealing, it also represents what the coffee will taste like from a quality perspective because if the milk doesn’t work for latte art, then it doesn’t have micro foam bubbles.

“Micro foam bubbles is extremely finely textured milk that captures expresso taste in every one of those bubbles and they burst on your tongue,” he says, likening it to a fizzy drink.

“It excites the palate and releases the flavour that has been captured in each of the tiny bubbles.”

During our time with the Creatista Plus, we had plenty of tiny bubbles to enjoy as there are 24 capsules in Nespresso’s permanent coffee range, each a different flavor and intensity.

There’s everything from Intenso to Decaffeinato and flavour Variations and we took a particular fancy to the Ristretto as the perfect wake me up and the Vanilio (vanilla flavour) as a great mid-afternoon fix—the names may be tricky to pronounce but the coloured aluminium capsules makes it easy to tell them all apart.

And, if you’re aren’t too keen on a coffee before bed, the Creatista Plus makes the perfect frothy milk for a hot chocolate.

After the final sip

If we thought making the coffee was easy, we were pleasantly surprised at how easy the Creatista Plus is to clean up. Once the milk is finished heating, and the wand is removed from the jug, all that’s needed is a quick wipe with a cloth before it cleans itself with an auto purge function. It’s also cool to touch so no risk of burning yourself if you’re too eager to sit back with your coffee.

Then, once a day we emptied the used aluminum capsules out of their container, emptied the drip tray and gave everything a good wipe.

And rather than throwing away the used aluminum capsules, they—and the coffee grounds in them—can be recycled at all Nespresso Boutiques and more than 300 additional collection points around the country, including PostShops and participating florists and garden centres.

Following our trial, we dropped the capsules at a local florist, before heading to our once regular café for a coffee where the barista now has a lot to live up to.

The NespressoCreatistaPlus and Creatista in Black and Royal Champagne can be purchased at Nespresso Boutiques and online at www.nespresso.com and are priced at RRP $899 for CreatistaPlus and RRP $799 for Creatista